PJ Library encourages Jewish parents, children to read together
"Some of the stories, I remember learning as a child," Berenson said. "Some are religious based, some are old fairy tales, but they are always good and always have a positive message." For the Brandenburgs — who began as an interfaith couple — the books have been important in helping Amanda, who grew up Episcopalian, understand Judaism and its various rituals along with Naomi in the privacy of their home.
"As someone who has converted to Judaism, it's neat to come into these traditions from the perspective of a child who is just beginning her life" she said. "For instance, I don't think I ever knew about the celebration of trees. It's a great lesson in being a good steward of the universe and being thankful for what it provides." It was actually Naomi's grandmother, Bette Brandenburg, who enrolled her in the program. The toddler began receiving the monthly mailings shortly after her birth in April 2010.
Early installments were board books, but they were no less effective in conveying lessons. From them, the Brandenburgs say Naomi learned to put a name with items common to their Jewish culture: candles, wine and challah.
"She really has memorized all of them," said Amanda Brandenburg said.
PJ LIBRARY: To enroll in the PJ Library, call Mamie Dayan at 404-575-3770 or log onto www.jewishatlanta.org/pjlibrary
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